Search

Alzheimer’s and dementia support services in Lowestoft and Waveney to be cut

PUBLISHED: 07:35 19 March 2017

Linda Stead (right) and Ann Follows are upset that funding for dementia support groups has been withdrawn in the Waveney area.
PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Linda Stead (right) and Ann Follows are upset that funding for dementia support groups has been withdrawn in the Waveney area. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

©archant2017

Vital support for dementia and Alzheimer’s sufferers and their families is to be reduced in Lowestoft and Waveney from April.

The Alzheimer’s Society has lost its contract with Suffolk County Council to provide face to face, telephone and group support in the county.

Instead, the county council has appointed Sue Ryder to provide a new service but the agreement does not cover Lowestoft and Waveney.

Waveney District Council has stepped in to plug the gap with the launch of two monthly dementia cafés paid for from its community fund.

However, the funding is only available for a year and is meant to stimulate the development of self-sustaining local dementia support provision.

Linda Stead, a former community befriender for someone with dementia, is calling for the support to be reinstated and has written to Waveney MP Peter Aldous.

She said: “It will be a huge blind spot. How can Suffolk County Council get away with not funding services in one part of the county. Lowestoft and Waveney is a huge area with growing dementia rates.”

Ann Follows, whose husband Mike has dementia, was referred to the Alzheimer’s Society in Lowestoft two years ago.

She said the practical and emotional support she received from the local team had changed her life and many people would struggle without it.

A spokesman for the Alzheimer’s Society welcomed the council funding for the two new dementia cafés.

She said people could put questions to professionals and learn from the experience of others during the informal monthly meet-ups.

In a joint statement, Beccy Hopfensperger, the council’s cabinet member for adult care, and Tony Goldson, cabinet member for health, said: “Even though Sue Ryder will not carrying out services in Waveney, it should be noted that alongside the NHS, we provide and commission a range of services to support people with dementia and their carers in Waveney, including a specialist dementia social work service and a highly regarded flexible dementia service.”

Pamela Mackenzie, Sue Ryder, director of neurological services, said the charity would be working with other organisations to run a project called Dementia Together from April.

Ann Follows’ experience

Ann Follows, whose husband Mike has dementia, praised the Alzheimers Society’s local team, who had provided her with dedicated support and advice.

“Any time I have a problem and I am not sure what is going on or who to contact I can call them,” she said. “There is nobody else with an overview.

“The council say they are putting the money somewhere else, putting it into specialist support services, but they are crisis services. They don’t realise that by taking the money away from the Alzheimer’s Society they are pulling the rug from the support.”

She said the charity’s existing support groups, which include one in Halesworth and another at St Mark’s Church in Oulton Broad, were a lifeline for sufferers and their carers.

“As a carer you live in a world of confusion, distress and loneliness,” she said. “There isn’t always somebody you can talk to who understands.”

The Alzheimer’s Society

Debbie Foster, Alzheimer’s Society operations manager for Norfolk and Suffolk, said anyone who has a diagnosis of dementia, or is currently caring for someone with dementia, could attend the new dementia cafés along with family and friends.

She added: “In addition to this, Alzheimer’s Society will offer support to develop a Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) in Lowestoft.

“Organisations, businesses and groups unite and sign up as a member of the DAA by thinking of some simple steps that would make them more dementia friendly, and these steps form their action plan.

“The aim of the DAA is to help create a community where people with dementia feel confident, understood and supported to live well.”

Anyone interested in joining an alliance can contact Geoff Moore, DAA coordinator for the East of England, by email at geoff.moore@alzheimers.org.uk or call 07802 861890.

Call 01502 514712 to find out more about the dementia cafés.

7 comments

  • Well that's a slap in the face for the people of Lowestoft and Waveney. What an utterly sickening, short-sighted decision. I would like to think that the people who make these decisions will lie awake at night suffering the pangs of conscience but I rather doubt that they are capable of even that amount of empathy.

    Report this comment

    Lee Mason

    Wednesday, March 22, 2017

  • "We're all in it together" & "The NHS is safe with us", the Tories said. They always get annual MPs pay rises & tax breaks for the richest. Cuts to every essential service to the point of destruction so we eventually beg for privatisation that has failed in every case to improve or drive costs down. All we get is divide & rule such as uncalled for new town councils few wanted-jobs for the boys. They can afford to build plush new offices, HS2, hundreds of millions to upgrade Buckingham palace & the houses of parliament etc, but to provide what the majority of people need, especially the weak & vulnerable there's "no money". We have an ageing population. We need good services to support them more than ever. "Big society"? Then why starve it of cash? How many years in power do the Tories need before they accept it's their fault & responsibilty for the state of the country? They've not made a single "Tough choice", they've always kept their own comfortable whilst harming the plebs. It's more than gross incompetence to re-arrange local government whilst cutting care & making dementia and Alzheimer Sufferers subject to a post code lottery.

    Report this comment

    Frank

    Sunday, March 19, 2017

  • "We're all in it together" & "The NHS is safe with us", the Tories said. They always get annual MPs pay rises & tax breaks for the richest. Cuts to every essential service to the point of destruction so we eventually beg for privatisation that has failed in every case to improve or drive costs down. All we get is divide & rule such as uncalled for new town councils few wanted-jobs for the boys. They can afford to build plush new offices, HS2, hundreds of millions to upgrade Buckingham palace & the houses of parliament etc, but to provide what the majority of people need, especially the weak & vulnerable there's "no money". We have an ageing population. We need good services to support them more than ever. "Big society"? Then why starve it of cash? How many years in power do the Tories need before they accept it's their fault & responsibilty for the state of the country? They've not made a single "Tough choice", they've always kept their own comfortable whilst harming the plebs. It's more than gross incompetence to re-arrange local government whilst cutting care & making dementia and Alzheimer Sufferers subject to a post code lottery.

    Report this comment

    Frank

    Sunday, March 19, 2017

  • What are charities doing running this service anyway? The cream will be skimmed of the top by management and the work handed to unqualified volunteers! There are over 365000 charities registered in this country and the vast majority are in it for themselves.

    Report this comment

    Karmastuartra

    Sunday, March 19, 2017

  • They probably expect this to be paid from the extra council tax we now have to pay for a town council nobody wants.

    Report this comment

    CHEWIE3771

    Sunday, March 19, 2017

  • They probably expect it to be paid out of the extra council tax we have to pay for a town council nobody wants.

    Report this comment

    CHEWIE3771

    Sunday, March 19, 2017

  • The county council should sack the person who signed the contract allowing thousands to miss out on what is a vital service to them.No doubt it will be claimed they are saving rate payers money but money should not be an issue insuch a lifeline to many.The rate payers of Waveney pay money to the county council and are refused services others in the county take forgranted. The service should be open to all in the county as all in the county pay for it.

    Report this comment

    old boy

    Sunday, March 19, 2017

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Other news

Yesterday, 19:29

Hundreds of people took a step back in time and enjoyed a vintage festival as Lowestoft was transported to the 1940s.

Yesterday, 18:58

Interesting stories behind a variety of buildings and landmarks across Norfolk will be revealed at the popular Heritage Open Days festival this autumn.

Yesterday, 18:33

Dozens of people have flocked to enjoy a popular music festival, which is rocking Lowestoft seafront for the final time today (Sunday).

Yesterday, 20:31

Record numbers made it an “awesome” weekend as a popular outdoor swimming pool reopened for the new season.

Most Read

Yesterday, 19:29

Hundreds of people took a step back in time and enjoyed a vintage festival as Lowestoft was transported to the 1940s.

Read more
Bob Collis
Yesterday, 15:30

Traditional scouting songs echoed out around a camp fire as more than 340 youngsters joined forces for a “perfect” occasion.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:52

A Dutch woman was rescued from her yacht after she broke a bone in her upper arm and suffered a suspected dislocated shoulder following a fall.

Read more
James Paget University Hospital
Yesterday, 10:24

Coastguard rescue officers were called out after a porpoise washed up onto the shoreline in Lowestoft.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:56

A scheduled train service from Lowestoft to Norwich this morning (Sunday) has been cancelled.

Read more
Norwich

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 15°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Lowestoft Journal
e-edition today

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter